Sola, 10th- Oakland, CA
It feels as if the air is being stripped away from my lungs. Little by little as each breath becomes shorter and rapid. I hastily pressed the elevator button that signaled to go down over and over again. Each press throws my brain off with anxiety. I make sure to look back every few seconds to see if they have caught up. GOD! WHEN WILL THIS GODDAMN THING OPEN?! I heard the small ding and used my fingers to attempt to pry the door open. I couldn’t wait even another second to get in. As the door started to open I squeezed through mid opening. Immediately I turn around and jab the buttons randomly which I regretted almost instantly. But then, I see him. He was at the end of the hallway but his eyes could’ve been right in front of me. There would be no difference. At this point I am stabbing the button that closes the elevator door. He runs. I jump back hitting my head against the wall behind me watching as this demon of a man sprint at full force. The door started closing at slow motion compared to the speed of him. The thumping of his feet was louder than thunder. I close my eyes shut. So hard that tears I didn’t know had formed started overflowing down my face. As I slowly opened my eyes I saw a closed door and an empty elevator around me. I let out a breath that I wasn’t even aware I was holding. It still feels as if my lungs were as big water balloons, only taking short quick breaths cause it feels like they might burst. My eyes started gravitating at the mess I made with the elevator buttons. Out of the 30 floors on this building, half of the buttons for each floor was pressed making it look like a light show made by children.The next stop is floor 12. My eyes widen as the small box on the top of the door is showing the number 16 then descending to 15. My mind gets clouded with static as I watch the number 15 turn to 14 to 13. I feel the elevator slowly begin to stop as my insides start to feel like it was sinking to my toes. He can’t possibly know I’ll stop at 12 right? Right? I tip my body forward only allowing my head to peer out. I scanned the area and sure enough, he wasn’t nearby. I exhale in relief only to be met with a tap on my shoulder. His finger sent electric currents down my whole system. Every part of my body tenses up, becoming harder than a rock. My eyes are opened so wide to the point it hurts.
“ Tag! You’re it!” He laughs. I turned around and there he was. My little brother. He then leans over, wheezing so hard it sounds like he’s choking. Of course he knew the next stop would be floor 12. I forgot this building’s elevator shows the next stop on the screen above the door, even on the outside.
“ Dangit! I can’t believe you caught me again!” I shouted in an exhale. I loosen up my body and relax my shoulders. I, too, am catching my breath obnoxiously loud. “ Now that we’re done,” I pause to continue inhaling. “...playing, Mom said to meet her at the front desk so we can check-out of this hotel.”
Students 6th-12th Grades